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Well, our game against New Orleans might have just become easier

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  • Well, our game against New Orleans might have just become easier

    A COSTLY WIN: The Saints win the game but lose their mainstay running back for weeks
    Ugly victory hints at long road ahead
    Monday, September 20, 2004
    Peter Finney

    No, this was not a Super Bowl preview.

    As you watched the Saints and ***** ebb and flow, hem and haw, move up and down the Superdome carpet, as you watched flags fly, watched both teams try to give the game away, you were left with the impression you were witnessing the NFL's version of the Cellar Bowl.

    It was fitting that the Saints somehow won it 30-27 on Sunday, fitting because no Saints player deserved this one more than Aaron Brooks, a quarterback who wound up digging himself, and his team, out of a deep, dark hole large enough to bury head coach Jim Haslett.

    Shakespeare could not have come up with a more compelling tragedy than the one unfolding along Poydras Street.

    Think about it. The defense allowed the *****, with first-time starter Ken Dorsey at quarterback, to travel 94 yards to take a 27-23 lead with seven minutes left, a drive kept alive by a 5-yard flag for running into the punter on fourth-and-four.

    Talk about charity.

    Next thing you know Brooks is sacked, and he's chasing a fumble back to his 5-yard-line.

    Next thing you know the ***** fumble it away and in steps Brooks, moving the team 59 yards. He finished with his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, this one a 16-yard strike to Donté Stallworth with 61 seconds left that, once the clock expired, went into the books as the 12th fourth-quarter comeback of Brooks' career.

    "I knew AB was coming to me when I saw Joe (Horn) draw a crowd," Stallworth said of Brooks' pass.

    "When I saw them squat on Joe," Brooks said, "I made sure I threw him a softball he could catch and keep his feet in."

    Just like that.

    But Brooks' afternoon of anxiety was not over. Not yet anyway.

    He had to stand and watch his defense one more time, watch Dorsey move the ***** downfield from their 29, watch Terry Jackson catch a pass and run to the Saints' 1-yard line in the final 21 seconds, only to have a flag for offensive interference float down, let's say, as manna from heaven for the guys in the fleur-de-lis hats.

    It's difficult to imagine what a home loss to the ***** would have meant to Haslett's psyche.

    Be honest. San Francisco is nothing close to an NFL contender. Though the Saints like to think they are, what they've shown so far suggests they're living in some kind of fantasy paradise.

    Now they've got to live, perhaps for as many as the next five weeks, without the services of running back Deuce McAllister, their most consistent performer for the past two seasons.

    In the first quarter McAllister suffered a "high ankle sprain," the kind of injury that sidelined former Saints running back Ricky Williams for six weeks in his rookie season.


    Aaron Stecker, McAllister's replacement, hurt an ankle during a 15-carry day, leaving offensive coordinator Mike McCarthy to make some major deletions in future game plans.

    Whoever is carrying the football, the offensive line isn't blocking anyone, something reflected in the ***** outrushing the Saints 180 yards to 146.

    Defensively, the Saints are haunted by a lack of speed and quickness and, perhaps more significantly, with highly suspect play from their linebacking corps.

    "We're going to have to do some things to shore up some of our coverages," linebacker Derrick Rodgers said, stating the obvious. "This is a journey. Teams learn and mature, and the ultimate goal is for your last game to be your best game."

    What you have here is a 1-1 ball club that lost to a better team in Week 1 and followed it by defeating an inferior team with plenty of outside assistance.

    Other than Brooks zinging the football, other than Michael Lewis giving his team decent field position returning punts and kickoffs, this is a Saints team with miles and miles to go.

    A long journey?

    You bet.

  • #2
    Re: Well, our game against New Orleans might have just become easier

    Nice report Nick. So let me ask you a question, which team played more poorly, the Rams or the Saints?

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Well, our game against New Orleans might have just become easier

      You know anything is good to help our Rush D out... I'll take this piece of news...


      steve :ramlogo:
      "The breakfast Club":helmet:

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